Camera Equipment

Mar 23rd, 2006, 08:46 AM
Posts: n/a
Camera Equipment

Hi all,

I have just taken the plunge and purchased a 5D as i craved for a full frame camera. I am keeping my 10D as backup though. My main concern now is not having a significant second body to work with. I own a 100-400L and the 70-200L 2.8, but on my forthcoming safari I want the 600mm F4.

I would love to purchase a second 5D, but i don't see the point when i only need multiple bodies for safari. I was wondering if anyone had experience in hiring equipment when they had been away? For two weeks I can get the 600 F4 for 400 pounds and a second 5D body for 600 pounds.

any advice would be appreciated, i just dont see the point in investing so much in depreciating assets that I would rarely use

Mar 23rd, 2006, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Why not upgrade to a Canon 20d. Prices are down to under $1,200 (700 pounds) if you buy online from across the pond and have it shipped to you in the UK:

The second camera body would give you better than would give you an effective 640mm due to the 1.6x conversion factor. Even with only 8 Megapixel, this will be plenty for your longer zoom photos. For your really long photos, if you were to get a Canon 20d AND that 600mm f/4 (rental), you would be able to get all the way up to 960mm at f/4.

Here are the results I was able to achieve with just the lowly Canon 20d and my Sigma 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens:

Not bad considering that I am still learning and have only been taking my photography seriously for about 6 months now.
Roccco is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 09:41 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 794
I've got the same set up as you do. I have a 5D and a 10D as a backup. My main wildlife lens is the 100-400 f/4.0 L IS. The 10D is a very capable camera, and I don't think you'll need to get a second 5D body. Plenty of pros still make money off of shots taken with the 10D. In general, you'll see a lot of depreciation in DSLR bodies, but not so much in the lenses.

I would suggest that the 500mm f/4 IS might be a better choice than the 600 since the 600 is heavier and a bit more difficult to handle. Of course, if you're after bird shots, then by all means, get as much reach as you can.

I think a set up with the 5D on a 600/500mm lens and the 10D on either the 70-200 or 100-400 would be an excellent safari set up.

The only other suggestion I would make would be to perhaps look for a used 1D - either the Mark I or II and trade in your 10D. The 1D will give you the high frame rate that is so important in wildife photography. By buying used, you'll have avoided most of the depreciation.
lifelist is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 890
I've enjoyed recent posts re camera equipment and safari, esp in relation to the EOS system.

I have aquired a mint EOS 1n HS 35mm and in conjunction with either the 17 - 40 F4 or 24-70 f2.8 and 70 - 200 F4 will have the lower focal range covered. I will then look at a 30d with the 100 - 400 L to give me the reach to the 640mm mark. Yes I'd like the full frame 5d but the 1n hs was so cheap, mint condition that I'm sure with Fuji velvia slide film I'll get as good as the 5d images for a fraction of the cost, especially as I already have the Nikon Coolscan V ed scanner. Then photoshop can do the rest.

Actually on another thread I was discussing the 300 f2.8 with sundowner, another canon user and that really appears to be an impressive lens. But a bit heavy on the wallet - I'll have to go on more safaris to justify it!

Matt_from_England is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,536
Matt, buy the lens and you'll HAVE to go on safari every year to justify owning the lens! I really bought the 300 f2.8 lens to take on a safari and resell it when I got home. Once I got home I decided I would keep it one more year and go again. Then another year. And this year will be my 4th trip with that lens. (The 1st trip is what inspired me to learn photography and buy the right equipment.) And I still haven't made it to East Africa so I can't sell it yet!

lbj - I used a 10D for a 2nd body (to a 20D) and while I don't love that camera as much as the 20D, it worked fine as a 2nd body. I don't have any experience in renting cameras or lenses. You might consider buying one and selling it after your trip (like I did-not!). You might be able to find a used one.
sundowner is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 11:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 890
Sundowner, having read some fantastic reviews re the 300 what is your impression re size and weight? Another consideration not mentioned is the cabin allowance, especially on the smaller aircraft, eg Nairobi to Kilimanjaro on Precision. And no one would be in their right mind to stow this in the hold...

30d, 300 f2.8 and x2 converter
30d, 100 - 400 f4.5-5.6
1n hs 24-70 f2.8 and 70 200 f4

That should cover all situations... or am I just being greedy?

Matt_from_England is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 02:26 PM
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the response,

I have thought about buying and then selling, but to be honest it would be too much of an effort. I also fear that like sundowner, i will end up keeping all my purchases.

I dont want to return to a crop factor camera because IMO the bokeh is not as good as the full frame. I am interested to see the new models for 2006/7 from Canon. I am sure that with the 5D coming to the market, there is likely to be a new one series. I cant see there being a massive pixel advance, but a lot of work on noise reduction. Maybe then, a 1Ds M2 may be worth looking at!

Sundowner, I cant agree with you more on the Lens front. The L series really hold their value and i have no problem investing. To drop $8000 on a lens though could result in an extended period in the dog house! Or maybe matching that with an investment in shoes and cosmetics for the other half. My line of thought is that if i rented the lens, i could get a private vehicle every day and even another small safari.

decisions, decisions......I know that when i am on location i will regret it if i do not have a second 5D


5D + 600 f/4 + 1.4x tele
5D + 70-200 f/2.8
10D + 100-400 L

That should cove most of my bases. Then have my 50mm and 24mm in my bag incase i need a swift change or for landscapes. On your second bodies, do many of you keep a short lens attached
like the 16-35mm?

Mar 23rd, 2006, 03:14 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 794
Well, I'm taking:

17-40 f/4.0L
24-105 f/4.0L IS

I figure I'll have the 100-400 mounted on the 5D most of the time, and have the 17-40 on the 10D (focal length equivalent of 28-64mm). I think that'll give me good coverage for most situations. I can always put the 100-400 on the 10D for a bit more reach, and I'll use the 24-105 on the 5D for a walkaround lens.
lifelist is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 03:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,536
Matt and John - it sounds like you have it all worked out!

Matt, are you travelling with a companion? If you are, the weight can be distributed between 2 of you. I usually travel solo and my biggest fear is getting there with the cameras/lenses because they usually weigh around 25 lbs. I use a cheap 19" or 20" suitcase that I bought at one of the x-mart stores and my stuff barely fits in it with some thin, dense foam for padding. If I ever get caught and my bag has to go with luggage, I'm in trouble because they aren't packed well enough to survive the baggage handlers. I do have a rolling photo backpack that does have enough padding but it's a lot bigger and more conspicuous. When I got on the plane to return from MalaMala, the plane was full and they did take my bag and put it with the luggage (while on the tarmac). All the other flights (knock wood) I've been able to carry it on.

The 300 2.8 weighs 6 lbs (without the camera or TC). This will sound silly but I'll say it anyway. It's pretty big compared to smaller lenses but small compared to larger lenses. A guy on my last trip had a 400 2.8 and it weighs 11.7 lbs. I could barely lift that lens! The 600 4.0 weighs almost the same, 11.8 lbs.

So if you get a 300 2.8, your weight will be
6.0 lbs 300 2.8
3.0 lbs 100-400
1.5 lbs 70-200 4.0
2.1 lbs 24-70 2.8
0.5 lbs 2x tc
3.0 lbs two 30D's
16.0 lbs total (plus the weight of all the other doodads)

John, the doghouse is not a good place to be! Just tell her you are reselling when you return and then "forget" to do it. HaHa. I keep the 70-200 on one camera and the 300 on the other. I usually have a TC on both of them. I carry the 16-35 in my bag for when it's needed. I always debate about whether to take the 28-135 for "camp shots" but I never take it. I don't love that lens so there's never enough room for it.

sundowner is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 04:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 890
Cindy that's exactly the kind of info I needed - I might even take my old Nikon FM2n to knock about with. that thing is solid. And the 50mm 1.8 and 28mm 2.8 are razor sharp and pretty inconspicious - great for getting in amongst it in the towns and market places where something bigger and a lot more $ could be a temptation. Actually you see the reports that film bodies are going up in value on ebay and the like? I could sell my Nikon for double what it cost me a year ago!

You certainly have been on some adventures: I'm quite envious!

Matt_from_England is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 04:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,536
I forgot to mention, I did buy "Rocco's" vest, just in case. I keep it in an outside pocket of my suitcase and if I get "caught" with too much weight in carry on luggage, I'll empty it out into the vest.
sundowner is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553

That reminds me...I must contact the Humvee or GMC? people and ask for a royalty on the vest that has been christened the "Rocco Vest."

Roccco is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 04:17 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,922
On my recent trip to Rwanda, I had the Lowepro Computrekker AW+ rolling backpack loaded to the max. Of course, it's supposed to be airline compatible, but only if you're traveling in a jumbo jet!
Being so big and so conspicuous, upon boarding the plane from Nairobi to Kigali and back, they wanted to check it. I told them it was filled with very expensive camera gear and really didn't feel comfortable parting with it.
On the leg there, they waited till everyone else had boarded and since it didn't fit in the overhead bin they gave me and my bag the last two remaining seats.
On the return trip to Nairobi, they took it and stored it in the closet in the back.
They refused to help a local with his oversized bag but he was having a fit about it. I guess maybe since I was very polite and very quiet and they probably saw the pitiful look on my face, they felt sorry for me.
Long story short is if you're polite about it and will work with them, they'll work with you the best they can. They realize how valuable camera gear is and will try to do whatever they can to help.
divewop is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 04:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 890

Have you though about buying the lens 2nd hand then reselling it upon your return? I often check ebay and at the moment can be found a 600mm F4 non I/S

I don't think you'd lose out should you buy and sell at a later date.

(BTW This seller is not me, I'm not advertising, so I guess if I've contrevened any Fodors rules sorry and the powers that be will scrub this last post...)

Matt_from_England is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 05:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 16
Cindy and Matt,

Thanks for the comments in our other photography thread.

After reading here and elsewhere, I think I'm pretty set on buying the 100-400mm as a safari lens for my 20d. I'm also planning on selling it when I get back; we'll see.

Most of my photography takes place while backpacking or occasionally mountaineering. Saw the weight of some of these lens (and looked at the price of the 300mm f2.8) -- too heavy to carry 7000 feet up a mountain.

Originally, I was looking at the new 70-300mm IS, but it seems weakest (soft) at the long end which is what I would be using most on safari. (And obviously not an L). Still may buy one of these to haul around in the mountains for the occasional moose or bear!

The 100-400mm seems like the best all around safari lens, pretty good reach and the ability to frame your shots at a distance.
spbear is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:41 AM.